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City approves permit for beer sales at Rock N' Rib Festival

LAWRENCEVILLE - The Lawrenceville City Council on Monday approved a special-use permit that would allow the sale of beer at the second annual Rock N' Rib Festival and waived the fee.

Last year's inaugural festival was "extremely successful" and was the city's best-attended event, said Jay Markwalter, executive director of the sponsoring Lawrenceville Trade & Tourism Association. "We're looking forward to it being larger this year."

Mayor Rex Millsaps estimated that last year's festival attracted an attendance of more than 12,000, according to Markwalter.

Beer also was available at the festival last year. No complaints were reported by Lawrenceville police from the festival, Markwalter said.

The Rock N' Rib Festival, which honors the Georgia Gwinnett College Grizzlies, is planned from 1 to

9 p.m. Oct. 17 on the Lawrenceville Square downtown.

The festival will feature live music, ribs cooked and served by restaurants, caterers and barbecue teams, and fun family activities. Other event sponsors include Radio station 97.1 The River.

McCray's Tavern, which will host the beergarten at the festival, will pay for security and clean-up, Markwalter said. Those costs are usually covered by the fee, which would have been $5,000.

Markwalter also asked to council to review the fee structure in the future.

In other business, the council granted a special-use permit allowing Fox's Den Pizza at 3157 Sugarloaf Parkway to apply for a beer and wine license.

A resident of the Courtyards at Sugarloaf objected to the sale of beer of wine near the subdivision and a nearby daycare center. Sales of alcoholic beverages are prohibited within 100 feet of churches and 300 feet of schools in the city. Daycare centers are not included in the distance restrictions.

The council approved entering into an agreement to lease the recently opened Lawrenceville Welcome Center at 233 Crogan St. to the Lawrenceville Downtown Development Authority.

The welcome center, which houses the Lawrenceville Trade & Tourism Association, was dedicated in late July.